The Sunday after Thanksgiving I returned to my hometown to deliver the message at the First Church of God. I was nervous, but not to speak in front of people. I am used to speaking in front of crowds; it has been a part of my professional walk for the past 13 years. I thought about the words of Jesus, “only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor” Matthew 13:57. I wondered how my message would be received, if my past was too real to those I was speaking to, and would it muffle the clarity of the message? Would they discount my present because of my past?
You know, the amazing thing about walking with God is this… no opportunity of obedience goes without blessing. And I don’t mean blessing in the sense of tangible things, although more than not that too is included. Instead, I mean when we are obedient to the opportunities the Lord presents to us, He bestows upon us blessing and favor much greater than some worldly thing. We grow in our maturity, our faith walk is enhanced, and for me, in this instance God revealed a powerful revelation that proved essential as I moved forward in His purpose. See, what He made clear through this experience was this: my responsibility was obedience. My responsibility was not how people would receive my message. I am not responsible for delivering it in some eccentric way to make it more culturally relevant. I am not to water it down to make it easier to receive or more comfortable for people to hear. I am to be genuine to who God has created me to be, just simply me. He began developing my skills to speak for years, long before I came to Christ and knew I would be using these gifts for the Kingdom. I didn’t need to worry about how my message was going to be received because I was obedient in the process of writing it. It wasn’t MY message, it was God’s. I wasn’t trying to glorify myself, I was sharing the truth about Him. (Insert sigh of relief!)
God then transferred this same revelation to my book. I did my part by being obedient in writing the message He called me to write. I was obedient by being open, honest, and transparent, even when my flesh was terrified. I shared details that my fears screamed to erase. My role was obedience in what God called me to do. I am not responsible for the receipt of His message, God has that under control. I am not responsible for who the message gets to, or how fast it gets there, He hast that too. I am to be obedient when His opportunities present themselves, and to continue to be authentic to who He has created me to be, and glorify Him every step of the way. I continually pray that every time I speak, every opportunity I am given, that I get out of the way and the Holy Spirit comes through and simply uses me as a vessel, for it is the Spirit that can speak to the heart of each and every person in just the way that God intends.
As we are obedient to what God calls us to do, His blessing and favor is bestowed upon us in glorious ways. We do not need to worry about what is on the other side of obedience as long as we are getting to the other side of it! God is already there!
CLICK HERE to listen to the sermon from Sunday, November 25, 2018 in Hoopeston, IL